The Short of It
The mother of a 2-year-old girl with terminal cancer creates a bucket list of big and little things she wants her daughter to experience before she passes away.
Ohio toddler Shiann Lockhart hasn't had an easy life. She was born with a heart defect in 2013 and received a heart transplant when she was just 5 weeks old. Although the little girl was diagnosed with Infantile Spasm Epilepsy and suffered from various infections and viruses for about a year after her transplant, she was doing alright. That is until she developed Mononucleosis, which as her mom Cora explained to WCMH, can be quite serious: "In transplant patients, if you don't catch it soon enough, it turns into what's known as PTLD (Post-transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder) Lymphoma."
The disease affects just 2 percent of transplant patients, and little Shiann is one of them.
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Given that her daughter is not expected to live long—she's already endured chemotherapy that Lockhart says nearly killed her—the mom and her husband Troy set up a Facebook page to chronicle a bucket list of things they want Shiann to experience.
The list of ideas started out small, like trying a root beer float and riding a motorcycle. But the list has grown to 70 ideas, including holding a prom for the toddler, getting mommy-daughter manicures and pedicures, putting her feet in the ocean, riding in a fire truck, dancing in the rain, going fishing, and even getting a tattoo!
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It's hard to imagine trying to cram everything you'd want your child to experience in life into such a short time, but this bittersweet bucket list is such a beautiful gesture. Lockhart says they created it as part of shifing their focus from treatment to treating their little girl.
"She has cancer in her brain as well as her whole body, so we decided enough was enough. She has been through too much in her short little life to have to deal with any more. So we made the decision to bring her home on hospice and let her live out the rest of her time here on earth happy and peaceful," she says.
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Here's hoping this family gets to check off everything on Shiann's bucket list. And thank you for reminding me to cherish every day with my children. You just never know what the future holds, so I truly believe we have to make special memories as often as possible.